Purchase Weed From Girls On Creating A Feminist Hashish Motion

Buy Weed From Women is a lifestyle brand gaining traction in the cannabis industry for its … [+] unapologetic stance.

Buy Weed From Women

Buy Weed From Women is a refreshing drink of water in a male-gaze-fueled cannabis design desert.

Jasmine Mans, Founder of Buy Weed From Women, is a poet who hails from New Jersey. Founded in 2019, her brand unabashedly coined the phrase ‘marijuana feminism’ and has worked with the likes of Carhartt, Herns Gabriel, Cannaclusive, and more since its launch. A past collaboration with Etain Health called “Good Weed Good Women” even donated a portion of its proceeds to the New York City Food Bank.

Buy Weed From Women is popping up with an event at Etain Health dispensary in Manhattan this week, Thursday, December 8, 2022. Centering on community, attendees will get to customize their own Buy Weed From Women piece with screen-printing on-site, alongside treats from BRWNBOX.

I spoke with Mans about her unwavering spirit in the face of trolls, what it means to the women who consume cannabis to feel represented in the space, and where she imagines Buy Weed From Women and the industry will both be in 5-years-time.

Thank you so much for speaking with me today. Tell me about the mission of Buy Weed From Women. When and where was it founded?

Jasmine Mans: Buy Weed From Women was founded in North New Jersey. I’ve been a short-form designer for a really long time. What I mean by short form, I use text in my designs because my background is in poetry. I’ve always thought, what words can people identify with? And identify with quickly? I’ve always indulged in cannabis, one day I was playing around with the language, and I thought, this will be important, this will stick.

Buy Weed From Women came about in 2018, and became a brand by 2019. At first, the mission was to just see, would people like it? It was really just a project out of passion? How would people gravitate toward it? What would it mean to people? It was a passion and an experiment.

As I watched people respond to the brand, I thought many women took on the language of BWFW as if it were a movement. We are cannabis-adjacent. We don’t have a flower product. No one feels like they’re in competition with our brand. People feel like they are part of the sisterhood. You see women who are a part of the industry, representing multiple brands and stores in the industry.

There are different stores in the U.S. and Canada that wear BWFW shirts to work. so we came into the industry as a unifier for brands that may otherwise be in competition.

Buy Weed From Women founder Jasmine Mans.

Redens Desrosiers

As I put the language out into the world and watched people respond to it, it gave me the charge as the owner to ask, ‘what can I do to make sure people feel included? How can I get this brand across the world to the communities that need it?’ I think the company rooted itself around what people believed in. We felt like people made it their own.

What are your best sellers?

Our jacket is the number one seller, and it’s followed by the tote bag. People fall in love with the jacket because it’s a bit of a utility, it’s a coach’s jacket it works for the spring. But on the coach’s jacket, it says ‘female drug dealer’ and there’s a huge Buy Weed From Women logo, and it says ‘marijuana feminism’ on it. So there is a lot on the jacket that makes women feel very empowered and supports the mission of women.

I was nervous about the jacket at first because, 1, everything from BWFW is hand screen printed. When I first made the jacket, my local screen printer was like, ‘Jasmine, this is impossible, you have four different printing locations. This is going to be troublesome and meticulous.’ Nothing was dropped, shipped, or outsourced by machines. It gave us a lot of problems, it was very expensive to make. It was like, we don’t know how people are going to respond to them. And people loved them.

Second to that, it’s our tote bag. It’s a simple piece, it’s an everyday piece people can navigate with. Your size doesn’t influence the purchase of the product, it’s easy to get around, and it has a decent price point.

I see your offerings in the lifestyle brand merchandise sector have expanded massively over time. What items are you most looking forward to adding to the Buy Weed From Women merch roster?

Yes, we just finished Cannabis Greeting Cards. and that goes back to me being a poet. I was like, ‘I’m going to write greeting cards that are tailored to the cannabis industry, that you can give your fav drug dealer or partner who smokes.’ Products or greeting cards that are tailored to the cannabis industry, but with poetic phrases. Oftentimes as a writer, I look at cards and think, ‘oh this is a bit corny.’ So I got the opportunity to write something funny and moving and profound. Also to tap into a market that doesn’t exist in cannabis. Cannabis is a lifestyle for so many people. For the grandmother who uses it for pain, for the friends who use it for relaxation. To present it in the stationery industry is a move towards normalization.

In your eyes, why does the brand resonates with women, people of all genders, races, and non-heteronormative folks in the cannabis space so profoundly?

One, I think language. We are deeply connected to language and the poetry of the message. I will always go as far as to say, there is poetry in everything we consume.

The reason we believe Nikes can make you fly, it was a message that was delivered to us. So apple, how I remember watching the Steve Jobs movie, there was a bit about how all of the computers were named after science-driven objects. And then you walked into the space and said Apple. And people were mind-blown, and it was like what does the Apple have to do with a computer? But the question is, what does the Apple have to do with the everyday person?

Language is what people fall in love with. The simplicity, the strong sensory message. It pulls in the core audience. It doesn’t talk down to or around the core audience. It’s plain in front of you, we’re talking about weed and we’re talking to women. They love the concrete, directness of the message.

Jasmine Mans, founder of Buy Weed From Women.

Redens Desrosiers

As the minority, women are always viewed as the minority in different spaces. For women, we often talk about women making less than men, that constant narrative. When you see that in business, in politics, but then you see a brand that says we want women first, we want women to be in the forefront of the brand. That’s when you get community, a mission. What if all women stood together to champion the message of women?

Men think we’re exclusionary, trying to cut them out, and I see men say ‘its not about gender, it’s about who grows the best.’ I didn’t know so many arguments would not realize, women would be pushed to the background because of their gender. People say we can’t do things, that we can’t be the best at things, because of gender. It champions their personal beliefs. That’s the thing. If you’re not allowed at the table, how can you become the best grower?

Does cannabis have a sexism and a racism problem, from your point of view as a female founder and a business owner?

I can speak about history. Is there a sexism and racism problem in cannabis? Absolutely. I grew up in North New Jersey, where there has been an intense War On Drugs, where black men and women who held cannabis have been criminalized. Think about the hand. In white hands, cannabis looks holistic. Something connected to yoga, to feeling free. In black hands, it’s the exact opposite. It is drugs, criminalization, a gateway to crime, and a gateway to even worse drugs.

My best friend’s mother did years in prison in the late 90s for having a dime bag. $5 worth of cannabis, his mom did years in jail, so many families can speak to this narrative. So many black and brown families have been split up because people were sent to prison for cannabis. For non-violent drug offenses.

Now we see today, there’s a wholly different narrative. The marketing and the language has completely shifted. Let’s create a multi-billion dollar industry that can be the gatekeepers to the plant, not because they know what is best, but because they have the resources to.

There’s a gap between the people who have the wealth to enter the industry and the people who just got out of prison and have to re-enter their lives, communities, and the workforce. We’re not talking about the curve of blacks and whites getting into the cannabis industry. We’re talking about people who just got back to their own community. They can’t enter the industry because it takes years to expunge their records. the curve between someone getting out of prison, getting an education, and building the wealth to enter the cannabis industry? That’s nearly impossible compared to white peers who have the wealth, access, and retail to grow in the industry. So that is a tale of law, of legislation, of racism, of the narrative of poor communities.

The cannabis narrative in Brooklyn or other minority communities is not the same narrative that you see in the suburbs or in these wealthy spaces. The short answer, absolutely yes.

Buy Weed From Women HQ with founder and poet Jasmine Mans.

Redens Desrosiers

Is there sexism in the industry, yes. Even what we saw on social media, at MJBizCon, I shared on my platform. People want to say cannabis is a boy’s club, that weed is a boy’s club. The first licenses went to wealthy, white-ran companies in the U.S. You see in women in the industry, we’re in our own silos. I’m not a grower or dispensary owner, I’m just adjacent. I see women feel the need to have to stick together, work together, and give together, they know they are impacting communities in a positive way.

In other spaces, in wealth-driven space, it’s about growing and sustaining wealth. But in Cannaclusive, in Women Grow, you see ‘how can we co-op together so we all win?’ I don’t see that outside of POC and women-run spaces.

The outpouring of support was really massive. I was shocked, I didn’t even see it coming.

What does the cannabis industry need to do in order to expand its customer base to the masses? Is it, marketing to more than one type of person, expanding its scope beyond one homogenous type of “stoner” stereotype?

Commit to a 15 % pledge. Everyone in the industry needs to have a fund that expunges the records of POC, or work to change legislation. I think there need to be substantial dollars committed to all communities hit by the War on Cannabis. because this narrative didn’t exist in the 90s. What if so many people weren’t put in jail because of the War On Drugs? Then how many more people would have a shot at growing? How many more people would have an opportunity to receive loans to grow? To get the education they deserve to get, at the time they deserve to get it? What if some of these people weren’t just selling drugs to make money, but because they were connected to cannabis at a time when the whole world was trying to convince them it was some terrible, ugly thing.

Aurora James started the 15% pledge. I’ve been thinking, what if everybody committed to a 15% pledge? What if everyone agrees people have been hurt and affected by cannabis and it was incumbent on them to do something about it? What if we weren’t in the industry for the sake of wealth, but also for altering the narrative?

Buy Weed From Women apparel.

Buy Weed From Women

Where do you see the Buy Weed From Women movement in 5 years time?

Truly, I think these last few days have shifted my thinking. At first, it was design and design production. It’s shifted to hiring a woman staff of color, about local production, about having enough money and raising enough money where we can give a percentage of expungement fund, to building our own nonprofit.

How do we lead and help all women in the cannabis industry? How do we encourage them to do better things with their dollar competitively? How do we push men to the back and make this a woman’s game? A person of color’s game, where people are so uncomfortable in the industry. They don’t feel like they can even talk about cannabis without giving back with their dollars.

I see women-only conventions where women gather together, talk about cannabis, talk about community and health. I see BWFW in every dispensary. My goal is to shift the product from a product to a utility. This is the first time I’m ever saying this, but I want Buy Weed From Women to be the Gap Red of the cannabis industry. We wore it because it was a symbol of something. If I wear this shirt, I am giving funds back to Africa. I want Buy Weed From Women to be a symbol of a larger function. You believe in women, you are giving to women, giving to women expungement.

We are currently building out that utility. We got the cool product, we have a sisterhood of women who feel this product represents them, and we have a movement. It’s my goal to anchor utility to that movement.

Where do you imagine the cannabis industry will be in 5 years’ time? What will it look like?

Oh, I think it could get very exciting. Where we see brilliant, creative brands pop up. You see brilliant, creative dispensaries cement themselves in the U.S. Or it could get boring, in the sense when you realize everyone can sell cannabis. Walmart will eventually be able to sell cannabis. What will it be like when everybody can sell cannabis?

Even still, I think it forces the creative and the brilliant people to stand in their creativity and brilliance. In 5 years, what is boring and novice will be wiped out. What is brilliant will be sustained. I think it’s a washing period.

What would you like to tell women or POC in the industry? Is there any message, of hope or even of warning, you’d like to give them?

That is a really good question. I would tell them that, that we should believe in black wealth. We should believe in the wealth of women. The wealth coming from POC and minority groups, brown and black women, will be connected to our futures. The sustainability of our future will be connected to our children. This is an opportunity to invent into the generation way beyond my days. So I think people in the cannabis industry, need to be steadfast. Steadfast in the belief that wealth is the investment in our future. As we climb up, always reach back.

What advice would you give to the business owners who look up to you and value/aspire to be like your brand?

For myself as a woman, as a black woman, scarcity is a real thing. Being scared to share, to work with others is a real thing. You’re not used to having what you have and you’re scared to lose it. It’s the abundance mentality, the brilliance mentality. When I am in connection to another woman or brand, I will grow bigger. As long as I am in good spirit and good mind, I can build better and more beautiful.

What would you like to say to men in the industry?

My first word is, be afraid. Be very afraid. I was minding my own business, I wasn’t even there. They aren’t nice to me. I don’t need to create a space of hate and exclusion, but this has always been competition. If competition is lead with integrity, it’s not my fault you’ll lose. Have integrity. May the best woman win.